90s Flashback - Co-SysOp of a Bulletin Board System

5 minute read article technology   wisdom   bbs   90s Comments

Back in the early 90s, I helped run a bulletin board system. As I was going through some files recently, I found this flyer I created. I have done my best to transcribe what you see in the images, so please forgive me for the poor grammar found throughout, and for any errors you may find.

BTW, the BBS was originally named Dragon Citadel. It was a Synchronet BBS. I learned about QEMM386, DesqView, and Novell Netware while helping tweak and configure the BBS.

Also, this was a much simpler time - limited access to things, only so many minutes per day, email and chat were new things, the idea of waiting days for an answer to a question was normal…I have fond memories of this period of my life. Working with the primary sysop, “The King”, was a hoot. Many times I’d find myself at his house, helping configure things, or holding him as he hung outside the window to tweak the satellite dish we installed. This is where I had my first Captain and Coke. It’s also where my love of the band Rush came from. Doug (The King) was a huge fan, and it was always playing.

Page 1

Left side of the flyer:

Logging in!

Make sure your modem is correctly installed and your terminal program is set to 8N1. Dial one of our numbers.

The first screen you will see should be a picture of a castle. This is the logon screen. Type ‘New’ and then hit enter. The system will then ask you several questions. You must answer these questions. Once you have answered all of them, you must leave The King feedback. This is nothing more than a short note from you. It can say anything.

Until you have been verified by one of the system operators, you will be limited to 20 minutes of online time. Normally we try to verify users within a day. Once you have been verified you will be a “Normal User” entitled to 35 minutes of time per day, access to some of the online games and most of the file areas.

If you have any problems once you have logged on to the BBS, feel free to send email to The King.

Right side of the flyer:

Welcome to DC Online

Coldwater’s Online Service

Numbers have been redacted.

  • 24 hours per day / 7 days a week
  • RIME International Mail Network
  • Private EMail!
  • Online Games
  • Thousands of shareware and public domain programs!

Page 2

Left column

General Information

DC Online started almost four years ago on a single XT computer and one phone line. We have since grown to become Coldwater’s biggest and best Bulletin Board System running four phone lines on six computers. One of our newest additions has been a Planet Connect satellite dish!

We receive around 50-60 calls to our BBS per day. People have called our system from as far away as Europe, but our user base consists mainly of local callers.

Some highlights of DC Online include the largest collection of Doom related shareware and freeware in this area! These files include newer and harder levels than those that come with Doom or Doom II. We also have Doom editors so you can create your own Doom levels!

DC Online has an extensive collection of Windows related software. We have everything from Windows games to fonts to utilities and applications. DC Online has its own resident Windows expert too, so if you have any questions relating to Windows or any Windows program, you can get an answer!

DC Online has an extensive collection of music related software. Midi’s, Wav’s, Mod’s and several other music formats are available online as well as programs to play the music files! DC Online also has its own resident music experts! They can help you find the perfect music file, or help you decide on a new sound card for your computer.

DC Online has recently added a CD-ROM drive. This now gives our users access to thousands of additional files.

You have to see it to believe it!

BUT there’s MORE!

Middle column

RIME International Mail Network

RIME is a network of several thousand computer systems across the United States and several other countries.

What’s so special about RIME? Well, DC Online carries over 239 RIME conferences. Conferences can be thought of as mail boxes. Each conference deals with a specific topic. DC Online carries topics ranging from pets to religion to computer related topics like Windows, DOS, shareware, and many, many more.

The great thing about RIM is the quick turn around time. If, for example, you were to “post” a message to the Windows conference, you would most likely receive a reply within a matter of days. If you were to “email” a person in Europe, it may take a little longer.

Another nice thing about using RIME is it doesn’t cost 32 cents and it doesn’t waste any paper!

In order to make things easier for our users, DC Online allows users to “download” their RIME mail, as well as any other mail that the BBS has. Once the mail has been downloaded to your computer system, you can use something called an Off-line Mail Reader (OLR for short). This allows you to read and reply to the mail at your own pace without wasting your online time. Once you have replied to any mail that you want, you are able to “upload” it back to DC Online. The mail will then be sent out for it’s journey across the world.

A future note: RIME is making it possible to send Internet email!! You may soon be able to email your kids at their university or the President at the White House! Watch for details!

Right column

Online Games!

One of the most popular attractions of DC Online is our large assortment of online games. One of the most popular “door” games has been

Tradewars 2002

Some of our popular games include: Scrabble, Lords, Blackjack, Lore, and Global Wars. We have many other games online.

Many of our games are not only multi-player, they are multi-node! This means you can play against users online!

Private Email and Chat!

DC Online offers private email and private node to node chat to its users. You are able to leave messages to any user on DC Online. If another user is online with you, you can also initiate a private chat or if you are really daring, you can try our multi-node chat! This involves multiple users all chatting with each other at the same time!

How do we do it?

Only with your donations can we make DC Online bigger and better.

Donating to DC Online is not required.

Normal users are given 35 minutes of online time per day. They have access to some, but not all of the online games, and all but two file areas. Donating users are given 80 minutes of online time per day and access to all online games and all the file areas.

Donations can be sent to: address redacted

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane because I know I did.

A seal indicating this page was written by a human